Jürgen Barth is a former German racing driver who achieved the most in the sports car racing. He was the Le Mans 24 Hours winner in 1977 together with Jacky Ickx and Hurley Haywood in a Porsche 936.
Jürgen Barth was born on December 10, 1947, in Thum, Germany. He is mechanical engineer whose first contacts with motorsport came through his father, ex motorcycle and Formula One racer Edgar Barth. After his father passing in 1965, Jürgen concentrated on studies and become mechanical engineer and soon employed with the Porsche racing team.
Schooled as engineer but born as a racing driver
With his knowledge of mechanics and engineering and his natural gift of driving, Jürgen soon become a respected driver, showing the team managers that he is not just a technician but a very fast racer.
From the very start, he had his mind on winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans and in 1971, 1972 and 1973 he participated with private owned Porsche 911. He managed to finish the race which is success but in 1974, his Porsche 911 RSR had an engine failure and did not finish.
Barth at the wheel of Porsche 908 at Nurburgring
Accomplished constructor, driver and author of ultimate Porsche book
In 1975, he moved to Porsche 908/03 a much faster car then the 911 and finished 4th which was a big success for private team. However, he has caught attention of Porsche works team and for 1977 he shared a factory Porsche 936/77 with Jacky Ickx and Hurley Haywood, They won the race.
In 1978, they were second but in 1979 they where disqualified because Ickx was repairing his car after the incident when unwanted outside help was given and this led to the disqualification. Jurgen Barth participated in Le Mans four more times (1980,1981,1982,1993) but in sportscar class.
Beside his racing career he is well know author of Porsches who had writen one of the most important books for every Porsche enthusiast. His “The Complete History of Types and Models“ (Jürgen Barth with co-author Gustav Büsing) is definitive history and covers every Porsche model from very beginning up to today and has over 1500 pages with over 2000 photographs.